Yahoo Updates Email, Users Freak Out

Entrepreneur

What the heck has happened to Yahoo email users? They've taken to online forums by the tens of thousands to protest the new Yahoo email design, which the company rolled out last week.

"This debacle is a disaster for business," wrote one angry user on a Change.org petition. "We understand Yahoo is targeting the mobile market, and while we love mobile, we DON'T use mobile for business! 300 million people are being affected by this change. Investors and advertisers need to take notice -- Yahoo users are going to leave in DROVES if this isn't addressed."

Get it, Yahoo? Droves.

A Facebook group called "Yahoo's New Mail Fail - Open letter to Marissa Mayer" opens with this:

Marissa,

The new Yahoo Mail experience is ugly, confusing and un-user friendly, with new changes that nobody asked for, designed especially to anger loyal users and make Yahoo Mail as frustrating and hair-pulling as humanly possible.

This is the worst email inbox design and cannot believe how in a single stroke you have ruined user's experience and productivity.

In short, please revert back to the previous version of mail which we have all relied on for years and maintained loyalty to Yahoo brand despite Google's initiatives to lure us away.

Wow.

In addition to a new aesthetic design featuring visual themes with curated Flickr photos, Yahoo's new email is structured around "conversations" -- emails that are grouped into threads. It's a lot like the way Google's Gmail works. Apparently Yahoo users aren't big fans of that.

And people have some pretty significant complaints, beyond just the new format. Some say their contact lists are being deleted, emails have disappeared and simple functions like scheduling a deadline simply aren't working.

So maybe Yahoo email users have a reason or two for their furor after all.

An email to Yahoo's PR team was not immediately answered.

Update: A Yahoo spokesperson responded with this statement: "We recently made some major design changes to Yahoo Mail that provide our users with a more modern and personalized experience. As with any significant product change, it is typical to see varied reaction, particularly in the beginning and with products that have a large user base. The level of response we are seeing is in line with previous releases and we've heard from many users that they are enjoying the new experience. For users that need help navigating the new Yahoo Mail, we have a dedicated customer care team in place, as well as help pages that provide details on specific features.

User feedback is extremely important to us -- we are actively listening to our users and will continue to iterate on our products to provide the best user experience possible."

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